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Slowing an epidemic starts with you

Cleaning hands

Cleaning hands

Studies show that improving handwashing at 10 of the world’s leading airports could slow the spread of infectious diseases.

On average, only 20 percent of people in airports have clean hands - hands washed with soap and water, not just rinsed. The other 80 percent are potentially contaminating everything they touch, from chair armrests, check-in kiosks, security checkpoint trays, and restroom doorknobs and faucets.

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Slowing an epidemic starts with you

Slowing an epidemic starts with you

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/02/epidemic-handwashing-hygiene/

weforum.org

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Key Ideas

Cleaning hands

Studies show that improving handwashing at 10 of the world’s leading airports could slow the spread of infectious diseases.

On average, only 20 percent of people in airports have clean hands - hands washed with soap and water, not just rinsed. The other 80 percent are potentially contaminating everything they touch, from chair armrests, check-in kiosks, security checkpoint trays, and restroom doorknobs and faucets.

Improving handwashing

Focussing on the handwashing message at the most significant 10 airports in the world could reduce the spread of disease significantly at a global level (potentially by almost 70 percent).
Even small improvements in hygiene could make a huge difference. This could potentially be achieved through education, awareness, social-media nudges, public announcements and improved access to handwashing facilities.

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Forced innovations

Throughout history, disease outbreaks have forced new innovations in urban design. Cholera epidemics in the 1800s led to the necessity for new plumbing and sewer systems as well as new zoning la...

Virus-free transit

Better design could help reduce crowds where viruses can easily spread.
At airports, security screening could be done differently so passengers are not forced to wait in crowded lines. It can reduce congestion and person-to-person contact.

Buildings

Air quality should happen in the public transportation system as well as inside buildings since we spend most of our time indoors.

  • Air can be made much cleaner with UV-C light, for example, that can eliminate viruses in air treatment systems.
  • Bringing fresh air into the buildings is important, as is improving ventilation outside in dense neighborhoods.
  • Future technology may include sensors that can detect viruses on surfaces in real-time that could trigger air cleaning.
  • Some buildings could also deploy temperature screening to identify people who might be ill.

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Basic protective measures

... against the new virus:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain social distancing, at least 1 meter (3 feet)...

Coming from dangerous places

Protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited areas where the new virus spreading:

  • Stay at home. Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible infections.
  • If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent the possible spread of viruses.

What we know

The virus that is causing the current outbreak is a respiratory one and spreads through droplet infection.

  • There have been no known cases of the virus spreading through "smear" inf...

Contaminated surfaces

  • The virus can be detected in aerosols (airborne droplets smaller than five micrometers) for up to three hours.
  • On copper, for up to four hours.
  • On cardboard, for up to 24 hours.
  • On stainless steel or plastic, for up to three days.

The virus particles on any surface decrease rapidly at the start, then slowly approaches zero over time.

Touching or eating contaminated food

If a food worker coughs over your food while preparing it, although really gross, your risk of contracting the disease that way is minimal.

According to a 2018 overview of respiratory viruses, the virus reproduces along the respiratory tract. It is a different pathway than the digestive tract food follows when you swallow it.

Even if you handle contaminated food and then deposit the virus along your respiratory tract, it's highly unlikely to get sick this way.

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